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Bikes are currently being ridden across Europe in Transcontinental 2013 race

Specialized are launching a new range of AWOL bikes designed for everything from commuting to full-on adventure rides. A couple of the bikes are currently being ridden across Europe in the Transcontinental 2013 race from London to Istanbul.

Here’s Specialized’s description of the AWOL:

“The AWOL is an adventurous soul wrapped in a heavy duty, do-anything body. It’ll tackle the mean streets as your durable commuter rig, but come the weekend it’ll be more than willing to let you strap on all the gear you need for an overnight camping trip and head on out into the rugged hills with you. Indulge your wandering spirit and go on an epic touring adventure, on or off-road.”

Three complete bikes make up the range, along with one frameset, although just one of the bikes is being brought into the UK.

The top model is the AWOL Comp, although this one isn't going to be available over here. It's built around a frame made from Reynolds 725/520 butted cromo steel. It comes with custom cast/forged rocker dropouts to run a belt drivetrain (although it actually comes with a standard chain setup). The fork is cromo too, with integrated cast dropouts.

The groupset is mostly SRAM Apex 10-spd with an FSA Gossamer chainset. This comes with 48-tooth and 34-tooth chainrings and it’s hooked up to a 11-36-tooth wide-ranging cassette. The brakes are Avid’s well-respected BB7 mechanical discs. Its price in the US is $1,950.

The straight AWOL and the AWOL DeLuxe use a different custom butted/formed cromo frame but the same cromo unicrown fork.

The AWOL gets a mainly Shimano Sora 9-spd groupset but with an FSA Omega triple chainset (50/39/30-tooth) and an 11-32 cassette. Again, the brakes are BB7s.

The AWOL DeLuxe is the model that's being brought into the UK, priced at £1,000. It is essentially the same bike as the straight AWOL but with the addition of a Tubus Vega cromo rack on the back and stainless steel mudguards.

The AWOL bikes come fitted with 700 x 42c tyres but can handle anything from 26c up to 29 x 2.2in if you'd prefer.  

The AWOL frameset is the same as that used for the AWOL Comp bike, so it’s disc brake and belt-drive compatible. As well as the frame, you get the cromo fork, headset and 27.2mm seatpost. This is $700 in the US but won't be imported by Specialized UK..

The riders taking part in Transcontinental 2013 aboard the AWOL bikes are Recep Yesil of Turkey and Erik Nohlin of Sweden. You can follow their progress on the Transcontinental website

Last time we checked, they were approaching Osijek, Croatia.

“Both Erik and me were part of the development team (he as a designer, myself as an engineer),” said Recep. “We will have film crew accompanying us to document our personal epic adventure during this race. Riding to Istanbul has been a dream of mine for almost 20 years – and now it’s happening.”

They’re on stock AWOL frames built up especially for the needs of the Transcontinental event.

Recep’s bike is set up with SRAM XXO derailleurs, SRAM’s new hydraulic road disc brakes, and a dynamo hub linked up to lights and The Plug from Supernova. The total weight, including racks, is 14.2kg (31.3lb).

Erik’s bike is built up with a Shimano Alfine Di2 groupset and a Gates Carbon Drive system. That’s Specialized’s Cobl Gobl-R Carbon seatpost that you can see on both of the riders’ bikes. Erik’s bike weighs in at 14.6kg (32lb), 24kg (53lb) fully loaded with gear.

The two riders are also updating their website with pics of the event.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

23 comments

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Hasis [37 posts] 4 years ago
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I think Genesis got there first!  16

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d_c_h_w [12 posts] 4 years ago
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Not a great advert for hub geared bikes (an extra 10kg in weight!)

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teutonic [4 posts] 4 years ago
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Fascinating. Yes, I guess up against the Genesis Croix de Fer, but the geometry is much more relaxed and clearances are bigger. Could be a slower, possibly heavier but maybe more genuinely a 'do it all' bike.

Definitely fancy a go on one.

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Mostyn [400 posts] 4 years ago
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Hasis wrote:

I think Genesis got there first!  16

Also the Kona! At half the cost.

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badback [302 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd rather have a Cinelli Hobo you reported on e few months ago: http://road.cc/content/news/83534-cinelli-launch-hobo-steel-all-rounder

It's just a little bit cooler.  16 16 16

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nowasps [519 posts] 4 years ago
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d_c_h_w wrote:

Not a great advert for hub geared bikes (an extra 10kg in weight!)

 39

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BetterNever [13 posts] 4 years ago
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Hasis wrote:

I think Genesis got there first!  16

No idea who came first. But it's a lot closer to something like a Salsa Vaya or a Surly LHT than anything from Genesis.

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amazon22 [279 posts] 4 years ago
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Yes, that is rust on the frame - he's running it without any paint for some unexplained reason. Interesting looking seat posts.

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d_c_h_w [12 posts] 4 years ago
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nowasps wrote:
d_c_h_w wrote:

Not a great advert for hub geared bikes (an extra 10kg in weight!)

 39

I was highlighting a typo that has now been corrected.

Erik’s bike weighs in at 14.6kg (32lb), 24kg (53lb) fully loaded

was:
Erik’s bike weighs in at 24kg (53lb)

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pedalpowerDC [364 posts] 4 years ago
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Gates on Alfine Di2 is a problem (as I have very recently learned) unless you're lugging loaded racks. Smallest cog that will fit is a 28t (and the only size they make), meaning you need the 55 or 60t front ring if you want reasonable road gearing . . .

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workhard [400 posts] 4 years ago
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Bars level with saddle...

Rough stuff on-/off-road long distance adventure bike in the mould of a Rivendell. Fundamentally different geometry to bikes available from all but a few niche otp manufacturers. Ideal for a more laid back style of commuting and for bridleway/sustrans hacking of a weekend in the UK, I'd have thought.

So it won't sell in significant numbers here then. (Would love to be wrong)

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MNgraveur [95 posts] 4 years ago
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You'd need a -35 stem to make that rideable..

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localsurfer [202 posts] 4 years ago
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Or a Cotic Roadrat...

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localsurfer [202 posts] 4 years ago
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ooh, hang on - is he powering his di2 alfine from the dynamo? Can you do that?

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Municipal Waste [247 posts] 4 years ago
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Nicer than a Saracen AWOL.... Just.

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Cycle_Jim [264 posts] 4 years ago
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LBS had the genesis with hub gearing, was telling me about how his friend got stuck somewhere in africa waiting for a derailleur for 5 weeks, so I guess I'd take the weight penalty over 5 weeks! Love the paint jobs

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Municipal Waste [247 posts] 4 years ago
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Use a friction shifter and it more or less doesn't matter what derailleur you fit.

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OldnSlo [137 posts] 4 years ago
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nope. planet x got there first with the kaffenback...

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james-o [239 posts] 4 years ago
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Well, technically Charlie Cunningham or Bruce Gordon was there first )

(and 53lbs loaded for a road race, what on earth is he packing, a tent peg hammer and a beer fridge?!)

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euanlindsay [82 posts] 4 years ago
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So basically this is US press release fodder.

Come back to me when there is a confirmation that its being released in the UK.

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billyman [148 posts] 4 years ago
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I'd that s paint job on the first bike or rust?, bit extreme to stop people trying to steal your bike, give it a rust paint job lol

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ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 4 years ago
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It looks like an ugly singular gryphon

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donnieboy [10 posts] 2 years ago
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It is an advert for the entire bike. Internal gear hubs do NOT account for 10kg. 1 if that. Useless comment. Internal gear hubs reduce cleaning and tuning intervals while some offer a quieter ride with belts than chains.